Correa hits walkoff homer to keep Astros alive in ALCS

Full Screen
1 / 15

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Houston Astros Carlos Correa is hugged by Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. after his walk off home run during the ninth inning in Game 5 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in San Diego. The Astros defeated the Rays 4-3 and the Rays lead the series 3-2 games. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

SAN DIEGO – Carlos Correa homered with one out in the ninth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Thursday behind sensational pitching from five rookies to remain alive in the AL Championship Series.

Correa drove a pitch from Nick Anderson to straightaway center field, watched the ball for a few steps and then flung his bat. He was greeted at home by his ecstatic teammates. He’s only 3 for 18 in the series, but two of the hits are homers.

Houston won a second straight elimination game thanks in large part to starter Luis Garcia and four fellow rookies, who combined to hold the Rays to two runs and four hits through 6 2/3 innings before manager Dusty Baker finally turned to a veteran, Josh James. Ryan Pressly, the seventh Astros pitcher, got the victory.

The Astros pulled to 3-2 and forced Game 6 on Friday. In the ALCS for a fourth straight year, the Astros are trying to join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only teams to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series. The Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS and went on to win their first World Series in 86 seasons.

Otherwise, big league clubs leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series are 37-1.

The Astros, who got into the playoffs with a losing record, are trying to reach the World Series for the third time in four years. They are trying to get there in a year when they have been criticized for their role in a cheating scandal en route to the 2017 title that was uncovered last offseason.

Correa also hit a walkoff homer in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS off Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees.